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helping dh face his fears

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My dh comes from a very medical family, and has worked several medical-type jobs over the years.  Although he says he has faith in the process and supports me fully (which I believe), he has also made the occasional comment that hints at fears/concerns he has regarding my desire to birth at home alone.  He flat refuses to openly discuss it though, saying he'll deal with it (whatever "it" is) and that everything will be fine.  I'm worried he's going to panic when the time actually comes to have the baby and that his fear is going to cloud his perception/judgement.  I'm uncomfortable insisting we explore his feelings/fears if he doesn't want to (not that I could force him anyway, obviously) but I don't want to be distracted during the birth wondering what he's going to fixate on and freak out over.  Has anyone dealt with something similar with their partner?  Any suggestions on what I can do to move through this with him?

post #2 of 7
Hm, it sounds like he really does need to talk about things. Does he have a friend or brother that he is close to? Maybe he would be more comfortable talking to them.

Maybe if you start discussing YOUR fears, concerns, or just what-if situations, he will begin to open up and then a discussion can be had. I think that education is extremely important when considering UC, so make sure he is as informed as possible before labor begins.
post #3 of 7

does he understand that you sense his fears & that they effect you even if he doesn't speak them out loud?  It sounds like maybe he is keeping them to himself because he feels that's the best way to support you -- thinking if he speaks them, he's causing you unneccessary stress... Maybe if he knows he's not going to say anything you haven't already considered, that having fear doesn't mean not supporting/having faith in you & that it'll help you worry about his experience *less* if you hear a little about his thought process, he'd be willing to share more.


If he decides not to open up, though, it may be up to you to separate your experience from what you percieve is going on for him on the inside (it might very well be that he doesn't want to share because his fears really are just passing thoughts & he doesn't find them significant)

post #4 of 7

In our culture it doesn't seem that surprising that he could have irrational fears because of how birth is portrayed.  Maybe he is worried but knows that his fears are irrational and therefore considers it unhelpful to bring them to the table.  maybe...

post #5 of 7

How far along are you ZM?


I can totally understand your desire for your partner to be emotional stable during the birth.  However, I've found the more dependent I believe myself to be on outside (myself) circumstances, people, ect...being a specific way, the more let down I've felt when feared action (or lack of) comes to pass.


I've come to view UC (after 5 births) much like a survival experience where the only one who can truly come to your rescue is YOU!  I've often had to break my inward focus during birth to direct/guide others who may be in various states of panic/paralysis or demonstrating other unhelpful forms of normal behavior.


The guarantee of anything during birth is a false sense of security that sets you up for disappointment at best, or your own lack of presence at worst.  UC ultimately becomes all you in the end.  So, after learning this the long way, I suggest for you to assume full responsibility for as many of the issues concerning you as possible and being as compassionate and empathetic with your partner as you can.  Non-violent communication is an effective method to draw out emotionally loaded subjects but I'd shift your focus back to what can make you feel more secure/prepared that is under your direct control.


He may panic and if he does you must determine how you will (or will not) respond to his fear.  Becoming the calm (or not so calm;) leader may be necessary so prepare for the possibility.  If you've read lots of birth stories, you'll find that things often happen quickly when there is actually much for others to do and the adrenaline aftermath hits when it's all over anyway.  


My very guarded partner has only recently felt trusting enough to disclose his fears openly.  And we're expecting our 3rd UC anyday now!

post #6 of 7

Beautifully said, Motheringbliss! Very important lesson for all of us! 


There once was a time when I fantasized about having the parter who'd sway with me, hold me and be really intuitive, present and loving during labor... My first birth ended up being completely alone and it was wonderful that way.  For the next two births, my husband was amazing and supportive, but not in that romantic way I'd imagined while pregnant with my first.  It simply wasn't his personality, or mine.  we sat and talked and poked fun at one another like we always to til it got intense and then I really retreated inside myself.


I think the way our relationships/interactions already are is how they'll likely be (maybe magnified a little) during birth.  Having healthy boundaries, being empowered and understanding that ultimately you are only able to control/be responsible for your own actions and feelings is a healthy way to be any day :)

post #7 of 7

Thank You LiaJoy!


It was HARD earned information...hope it benefits others earlier in their "UC evolution".

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